HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Former Butler County assistant prosecutor and county prosecutor candidate Jason Phillabaum has been indicted in connection with altering grand jury indictments.
The ex-prosecutor is accused of asking a clerk to add gun specifications to the indictment of Tyree Johnson, who was accused of burglary, without the grand jury hearing the case. "We do not feel the state can prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt because it didn't happen", his attorney Mike Allen said. "My client did nothing wrong. In essence, the allegations are that in the Grand Jury my client authorized the additions of gun specifications on a case when the Grand Jury did not vote on it. We vehemently deny those charges. That did not happen."
A special prosecutor, Christopher Wagner, was appointed by the Attorney General's Office to investigate the allegation against Phillabaum after a special judge ruled the indictments were defective last year in Johnson's case. Johnson was later re-indicted, tried by a jury and convicted of aggravated robbery and other felony charges.
Phillabaum has been indicted on two counts of Forgery, two counts of Tampering with Records, Dereliction of Duty, Interference of Civil Rights and Using Sham Legal Process.
Phillabaum was fired by Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser in February of 2011 and Allen says Gmoser is out to get him, "My client was an opponent of the current prosecutor. We have contended all along that this case was politically motivated. I mean, immediately after the vote was taken my client's opponent, the current prosecutor, advised him to seek counsel for this matter so you can read into that whatever you want to read into it."
Gmoser told Fox19 News that he's happy the Special Prosecutor took his time investigating the matter. The Special Prosecutor declined to comment.